By Kristin J. Bender, Karina Ioffee and Harry Harris

OAKLAND -- An 8-year-old girl was in grave condition Saturday after a stray bullet hit her in the neck while she was playing in the front yard on her East Oakland home Friday evening, police said.

The girl, whose 9th birthday is Sunday, remained at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. Her name was not released.

Her 7-year-old brother was also outside playing but was not hit or injured. It was not known Saturday if he saw the shooting or the assailants.

Police said the intended target of the shooting was a 47-year-old man who was walking on the sidewalk in the 1800 block of 66th Avenue about 6:25 p.m. when a car stopped, two men got out and started shooting at him. He was hit in the leg and the groin and taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he remained in critical condition. He was expected to survive.

Police said the man, whose name was not released, lives in Oakland but not on the street where he was shot.

The shooters drove away and police did not have a description of the men or the vehicle.

Officer Chad Borjesson said investigators don't yet have a motive for the shooting. No one has been arrested.

Several neighbors interviewed Saturday said the incident has left them shaken.


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"Thank God I was not in my living room or I also could have been hit," said Barbara Wright, 60, whose front window was shattered two bullets. "It's not safe around here."

Another two bullets went through the fence she shares with the family whose daughter was struck.

Another neighbor, T.C. Zedd, 31, said he tried to reassure his children that this kind of violence was unusual.

"I talked to my kids and told them it's not normal but it does happen in this neighborhood from time to time," he said. "The kids said, 'Daddy that could have been us.'"

Children being wounded or killed by bullets intended for others is all too common in Oakland.

Last October, a 2-year-old boy was shot and wounded by stray gunfire while he was playing on the sidewalk just outside his house near 94th Avenue and Sunnyside Street. He survived.

Last July, 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine was shot and killed when she answered the doorbell during a sleepover at a friend's apartment in the 3400 block of Wilson Avenue. There have been many other children younger than 10 wounded or killed by errant bullets over the last few years.

Anyone with information should call Oakland police at 510-238-3455 or 510-238-3326. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $15,000 in reward money for information leading to the shooters. Anyone with information can call 510-777-8572.

Follow Kristin J. Bender at Twitter.com/kjbender. Follow Karina Ioffee at Twitter.com/kioffee. Follow Harry Harris at Twitter.com/harryharris15.